Monday, October 26, 2020

Dunkelwurm: The Central Reich

Let's do this properly. The Middle Kingdom in my FKR game.

Capital: Tagstadt (Kaiser Tassilo)

Geographical borders: Redda Krigg mountains, Toad Rock mountains, Black Crescent mountain, Orknail mountains, Kaiser mountains, Blacksmith mountains, Brokk mountains

Think of: Germany in the High Middle Ages

Religion: The One God (think of: Medieval Catholic Church)

… and the appropriate spark table:








Indentured Farmers












Rolling Hills












Small Town




Huge Amount Of Money



Arcane Threat



The Nameless God




















Dunkelwurm: Hero Types

After I introduced my new FKR fantasy game  here, I'd like to show you what type of heroes you can play.

This list is being added to continually. My design principles for the hero types follow Troika!'s lead: the setting is implied in the character descriptions.

  1. Rooster Rogue (Hahnenschalk)
    Rooster? Hah! You're so much more than a talking man-sized rooster with human hands and clothes! You are the direct descendant of the proud and noble House of Rooster Rogues. Your Art of Illusion is the stuff of legends. Bag of Magic Eggs, sword, noble clothes

  2. Elf:
    You are ancient, but you look younger than most humans. A child you are not. Sometimes it amuses you to see those humans planning and scheming, without regards of the really long-term consequences. Plans will come to pass, and humankind is just a pawn in the Great Game. Bow and arrow, flute, bag of herbs

  3. Dwarf:
    Rock gave birth to you. The ground shaped you. You know the mountains and stones and pebbles, better than anyone else. Ax, hammer, metal armor

  4. Soldier/Warrior
    One of the elite soldiers, you know battle. You love battle, and you have the scars to prove it. From the Flying Fields of Misan to the Dire Swamps in the South, you have fought there. One-handed weapon, leather armor, shield

  5. Adventurer:
    Back home in the village, you were a nobody. Now, here, you're free. Hungry and without riches, but free. You are one of the few who have left the Walled City, and the memories haunt you to this day. Knives, quilted uniform, musical instrument

  6. Jarl:
    A duke of the clods you are, a ruler over two villages. Or, you were. Now, Lady Adventure is singing her siren songs. Sword, polearm, leather armor, flask of schnaps

  7. Magister:
    Your name is known in the Academy of the West. You haven't made it into the White Tower, but a breakthrough in your research is only a matter of time. Books, writing utensils, magnifying glass

  8. Man of the Woods:
    You know the forest and its inhabitants. You know them well, and they're your friends, at least many of them. Dowsing rod, bag of herbs, a bottle filled with water from the Otherside

  9. Sorcerer:
    You have opened a door you shouldn't have opened. You have started playing with forces you don't understand. Five spells have you defeated and forced into your labyrinthine cages so they may never escape. There are 95 more. Magic elmwood staff, foliants, scrolls, robes, pointed hat

  10. Crusader:
    You know the One and True God. The ones who don't believe in him are misguided. Heathens! Only when every city in the West and in the East are united under the banner of the Church, the world will know peace. Warhammer, chainmail armor, uniform, banner

  11. Wandering Monk:
    Life in the monastery was good. Then, It happened, and you have never stayed in one place for long ever since. Some say, you are on the run. Sometimes, the gods are talking to you. Or is it the demons? Staff, frock, holy symbol

  12. Fingersmith
    Quick, agile and nimble. Specialized in property relocation. Dagger, bags, mask, rope

  13. Stomptrooper
    No kingdom, no empire, without mindless soldiers. Comrades in arms, a force to be reckoned with. Weak when alone. Form-fitting armor, sword

  14. City
    Some people know all the streets and places in town. Others have all the important contacts. But you. You. Are. The. City.
    Impromptu weapons you can find always and everywhere , Concrete plate armor, a horse, a carriage, a tiny house that‘s bigger on the inside

  15. Officer of the Cult
    Obey the Master. His word is Penultimate Truth. Obey the Master.
    Medallion with the image of The Master (acts as armor on a good Luck roll).

  16. Hunchbacked Mystic
    Reclusive eccentrics. Wise men, sages and fools. Ask them, and you will get answers. Sometimes, they even make sense.
    Collection of Holy Books (count as armor)

  17. Troll Cannoneer
    One of the oldest tribes in the world. Their culture, both artistic, refined and violent. You are one of them. Young. Inexperienced. But proud.
    Trokkk® Two-handed Handgunne, bottle of moonshine

  18. Nine Heavenly Seas Navigator
    Pirates in flying ships. Adventurers in dark space. Scoundrels them all.
    Sextant, flintlock pistol

  19. Netherworld Barbarian
    Your people have lived under the land for as long as they can remember. Fierce and loyal, with an unsatiable lust for life.
    Huge two-handed sword or war hammer

  20. Slugman Noble
    Palaces up in the mountains, decadent, glittering in the sun. Your word is law, and has been forever. Aloof, distant and cold as ice.
    One month supply of rare tea, traditional chukri long dagger, an elastic, absorbing skin, eyestalks that allow you to look around corners.

  21. A King/Queen in Exile
    Men, women, wine, slaves, gold and riches, you had it all. Then the Others invaded your lands, and you ran for your lives.
    Royal insignia, a rusty sword

  22. Dwarven Engineer
    Great tinkerers with a keen sense of weird mechanisms. Mechanical miracle workers.
    Book of Forefatherly Complex Constructions:, Dwarven Machines that imitate a spell effect

  23. Panzer Templar
    Defenders of the world. Unholy alliances threatening existence. The truth does not lie in the middle, it‘s both. At the same time.
    Scorchsword, roll 1d6: 1-5: metal arms, 6: metal head

  24. Councilman
    Secrets, trade deals and connections. Most of them shady, some outright dangerous. A fragile equilibrium.
    Poisoner‘s ring

  25. Holy Man/Holy Woman/Holy Hermaphrodite
    Your god talks to you. And your life only knows one goal: to please God.
    Begging bowl, chillum pipe and hasheesh, Prayer Beads

  26. Runemaster
    The secrets of Dere are contained in the eon-old runes the gods gave you. You know how to combine them. You know how to feed them. Treat them well, and they will be your allies.Set of runes consecrated with your own blood, sword, wolfskin complete with head , Book of The Nine Worlds

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Diceless Landshut

Remember the time we played the best games, had the most amazing adventures and breathtaking journeys into the world of imagination? As kids, we didn't use dice to do that. 

And Erick Wujick, for instance, the man who introduced the first professional diceless roleplaying game (Amber) to the hobby, thought the same. I trust him. Our best roleplaying campaigns didn't use dice, and lasted many years. And we didn't use cards or tokens or points, either. In fact, no randomizers at all.

Vultrum is my diceless Free Kriegsspiel Revolution game. I hope you enjoy it.

Dunkelwurm: FKR fantasy game


The Pitch

1. The world is ancient. 
There are ancient ruins, and machines, that show there were many civilizations before the one living on Dere now. This ties in neatly with the first few modules (dungeon crawls, mostly) before the publisher decided they were verboten!, and streamlined the whole setting… just to turn it into pure boredom.

2. There are portals to other worlds.

3. There is at least one more country or continent on the map.

4. Magic is corrupting.
Dangerous, soul-sucking magic is the norm in Dunkelwurm.

5. There are many different cultures on the world.
A wild combination of disparate cultures and scientific developments – flying apparatuses in one country, and sticks and stones in the one right next to it. 

6. More sword&sorcery, less Three Musketeers.
Dunkelwurm uses FKR rules.

Sources of Inspiration

1. The art Of Talbot, Yüce, Biswanger and Holitzka
Dunkelwurm would be not the same without the stunning old school black and white art of British artist Bryan Talbot. For examples of his work, click here or here. Another perennial favorite of mine is Munich artist Claus Biswanger, who painted quite a few covers for the first modules. Klaus Holitzka, another German artists, is what I'm looking for. And last, but not least: Turkish artist Uğurcan Yüce. Yüce's unique style (mustaches for the win!) speaks to me.

2. The music
Every kind of stoner rock, definitely. And, handily enough, the Sword&Backpack mixtapes.

3. The movies and the books
Conan. Barbarian Brothers. Headlopper. Heavy Metal, and Heavy Metal 2000. Rankin/Bass The Hobbit. Bakshi's crazy-ass movies. Pretty much the entire Appendix N, but Fritz Leiber, Jack Vance, L. Sprague De Camp, Robert E. Howard, Michael Moorcock and Roger Zelazny being on top of the list. And, not to forget, the first Das Schwarze Auge novel, Andreas Brandhorsts "Das Eherne Schwert" (The Bronze Sword; 1985).

And life continues.

So I heard from a few friends that certain people were, let's say, delighted that I closed shop here on my blog. That I had shut up for good.

But: no.

Now more than ever. Creativity needs a medium. Mine are my face to face games – and this blog.

I really tried to hard to ignore it. But I can't. And I have to say: I'm happy it's the way it is. So, for the furture: more content to come. 

And thanks for y'all's comments and emails. Very much appreciated.